The Ultimate Shopify SEO Checklist: A Guide to Optimize Your Store for Search Engines
Google handles over 3.5 billion search queries daily, and these searches account for up to 80% of all measurable website traffic. Consequently, it's not surprising that 82% of marketers acknowledge that SEO positively influences their business objectives.
To ensure the success of your business, it's essential to strive for the highest possible position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your ecommerce business. Although it might require some time and effort, even a new website can achieve a favorable ranking on Google by following this Shopify SEO checklist.
1. Basic SEO checklist
Set Up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a complementary tool that empowers website owners to oversee their site's traffic, assess search performance, and identify potential issues that may hinder their site's ranking.
To get started, visit the signup page to create your Google Search Console account. It's important to verify your domain, confirming to Google that you are the rightful owner of the website, before it can offer its services to you. You can find guidance on how to verify your Shopify domain to enable the use of Google services.
Google Search Console additionally assists with various technical SEO functions, including:
Submitting Sitemaps and Individual URLs for Google's Crawling and Indexing: You can use Google Search Console to submit sitemaps and specific URLs, ensuring they are crawled and included in Google's index.
Identifying Site Issues and Receiving Timely Alerts: The platform helps pinpoint problems on your website and promptly notifies you about them, enabling you to take corrective action.
Inspecting the robot.txt File for Errors: You can also use Google Search Console to review your robot.txt file for any potential errors or issues that may affect how search engines interact with your site.
Configure Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides insights into user interactions with your website. After setting it up, you can categorize your website visitors and track their engagement following their arrival from a search engine.
To establish a Google Analytics account, begin by adding your web property. Subsequently, include a data stream by embedding the Google tag ID into your content management system (CMS)-hosted website.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Before embarking on your SEO campaign, it's essential to grasp the fundamental keywords relevant to your website. This step is crucial because it forms the foundation for optimizing your site effectively.
Naturally, your primary focus should be on keywords with the greatest potential for driving revenue to your online store.
Keyword research can be approached through various methods, including:
Jotting down terms that you believe people would use to search for your products.
Examining competitor websites to identify the keywords they are targeting.
Leveraging Keyword Research Tools.
Analyzing the "Search Results" report in Search Console to identify the queries that are already directing traffic to your online store.
To grasp the fundamentals of keyword research, it's imperative to acquaint yourself with three pivotal concepts: search volume, keyword difficulty, and search intent.
Search volume denotes the average monthly frequency with which a specific search query is entered into a search engine. Higher search volumes signify greater popularity.
You can harness keyword search volumes for various purposes, such as determining which new products to introduce or identifying the optimal keywords to target.
For instance, if you're in the business of selling toothbrushes and notice a substantial search volume for "electric toothbrush," it would be prudent to consider adding this product to your inventory.
Additionally, if you already offer electric toothbrushes, you should strive to optimize your content for the specific keywords associated with this product to ensure its visibility in Google search results.
Keyword difficulty is a metric that gauges the level of competitiveness in ranking for a particular keyword in search engine results. Assessing keyword difficulty aids in making informed decisions about whether it's worthwhile to invest your resources in optimizing an organic page for that keyword or bidding on it in a Google Ads campaign.
Small Shopify eCommerce businesses may find it challenging to rank for high-difficulty keywords, so it's advisable to identify and target keywords that align with their niche, potentially favoring long-tail keywords.
Search intent unveils the primary objective of a user conducting a specific search query in a search engine. Users typically seek a specific type of information, solution, or resource when they enter a query. It's essential to discern the search intent behind a keyword before committing your efforts to it.
For example, "Real estate investment" and "best real estate investment apps" exhibit diverse search intentions. The former suggests a general quest for information about real estate investment opportunities, while the latter signifies a specific interest in finding smartphone applications related to real estate investment.
To discern search intent effectively, perform a simple search for the keyword in question on a search engine and scrutinize the results. This analysis will help you identify whether the results predominantly consist of blog pages, product pages, or navigational pages, and guide your keyword strategy towards achieving more strategic rankings.
We commonly categorize search intent into four distinct types:
Navigational Intent: This is when users are seeking a particular webpage, such as when they search for "linkedin login" to access the Linkedin website.
Informational Intent: Users display this intent when they aim to acquire knowledge about something. When someone searches for "how do hurricanes form," they are seeking information and understanding about the formation of hurricanes.
Commercial Intent: This type of intent manifests when users are in the research phase before making a buying decision. A search for "iPhone 15 reviews" demonstrates a user's interest in reading product reviews before deciding to buy the iPhone 15.
Transactional Intent: Users with this intent intend to complete a specific action, usually making a purchase. A user who searches for "book a flight to Paris" has a clear intention to purchase an airline ticket for a specific destination.
Consider SEO tools
Keeping up with algorithm changes, rankings, and competitor keywords is challenging but necessary for online businesses. There are good paid and free SEO tools you can use to meet search goals. You’re already one step ahead by setting up Google Search Console and Analytics.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization occurs when several pages within a website intentionally or inadvertently focus on the same or closely related keywords, creating competition among themselves, which can adversely impact the site's organic performance.
However, it's essential to dispel a common misconception—Google does not become "confused" when confronted with multiple pages addressing similar topics or targeting identical keywords. Instead, it discerns the content and purpose of each page and ranks them accordingly.
This doesn't necessarily guarantee that Google will always prioritize the page you desire it to rank. Nevertheless, it doesn't imply that the engine is ranking the "wrong" page or that immediate, drastic measures are essential to "rectify" the situation.
3. Optimize The Content
On-page optimization stands as the bedrock of any comprehensive Shopify SEO strategy, as it serves to elucidate the content's relevance to search engines, facilitating higher Shopify rankings. To build a robust online presence and improve search visibility, it's imperative to invest time and effort into refining the content of your Shopify store.
Create SEO Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Optimizing Shopify meta descriptions and titles is a pivotal aspect of your SEO strategy. These elements play a crucial role in conveying the essence of your web pages to both search engines and potential visitors.
Well-crafted meta descriptions and titles not only enhance your website's visibility in search results but also entice users to click through to your site. By tailoring them to accurately represent your content and incorporating relevant keywords, you can significantly improve your Shopify store's search engine rankings and drive organic traffic.
To enhance your page titles and meta descriptions, consider the following strategies:
Incorporate pertinent keywords into both the title and meta description to boost search engine visibility.
Ensure that your page titles are not only keyword-rich but also compelling, compelling readers to explore further.
Employ attention-grabbing power words that pique curiosity and encourage click-throughs.
Enhancing the alt tags and filenames of your images is a pivotal facet of your SEO strategy. These elements serve a dual purpose by not only aiding search engines in comprehending the content of your images but also making your website more accessible to visually impaired users.
To achieve this, ensure that your image alt tags are both descriptive and keyword-rich, effectively reflecting the image's content. Additionally, optimize your file names with relevant keywords, providing search engines with further context and potentially boosting your website's visibility in image searches.
Incorporate Keywords into Your Content
By strategically weaving relevant keywords into your website's copy, you enhance its alignment with search engine algorithms and increase the likelihood of ranking higher in search results. However, it's essential to strike a balance, ensuring that the keywords naturally fit within the context of your content, providing both value to your readers and search engine recognition.
Use Keywords In Urls
This practice aids search engines in comprehending the subject matter of your web pages and contributes to improved search rankings. However, it's important to ensure that the inclusion of keywords in your URLs remains relevant and concise, aligning with the overall context of your content.
Leverage Synonyms and LSI Keywords
By including synonyms and LSI keywords related to your primary search terms, you provide search engines with a more comprehensive understanding of your content.
This not only enhances your rankings but also ensures that your content appeals to a broader range of search queries.
Enhance Page Optimization
To bolster engagement in the realm of eCommerce, optimizing your pages is key. For product pages, comprehensive descriptions are crucial, complemented by relevant product links, high-quality images, and videos. Incorporating customer reviews and rankings provides social proof.
For Shopify blog SEO, focus on brevity, simplicity in language, and the effective use of headings, subheadings, and multimedia elements.
4. Link Building Strategy
When an external website links to yours, it signals to Google the trustworthiness of the linking site toward yours. This, in turn, contributes to the growth of your domain authority (DA), a pivotal measure of your website's competitiveness in the quest to secure favorable keyword rankings.
Search engines like Google take into account various factors, including the quantity, quality, and pertinence of links directed to a particular page or website, as a key determinant in their ranking algorithms.
Write Guest Posts:
Consider contributing guest posts to reputable websites within your niche. This not only allows you to share valuable content with a broader audience but also often includes the opportunity to include links back to your own website. Guest posting is a strategic approach to building high-quality backlinks while establishing your authority in the field.
Find Unlinked Mentions:
Monitor and identify instances where your brand is mentioned on the web without a corresponding link to your website. Reach out to the content creators and request them to add a link to your site. This not only helps you recover missed opportunities but also bolsters your website's SEO by creating credible references.
Obtain Product Reviews with Inclusion of Links:
Seek out product reviews from credible sources within your industry and kindly request them to incorporate direct links to your products on their review pages. This approach not only provides potential customers with valuable insights but also enhances your website's SEO by building quality backlinks.
5. Content Marketing Strategy
Crafting high-quality, informative, and engaging content not only adds value to your website but also helps establish your brand as an authority in your niche.
Whether you're crafting informative product descriptions or engaging blog posts, meticulous keyword research targeting specific niches is essential for optimizing your content strategy.
While determining your content focus might pose some challenges, rest assured that content marketing significantly elevates your search engine rankings. Prioritize curating content that addresses customer queries, scrutinize the offerings of your industry counterparts, and, most importantly, create content that genuinely enriches the user experience.
6. Fix Technical SEO Issues
Addressing issues such as broken links, duplicate content, slow page load times, and poor mobile optimization not only enhances the user experience but also boosts a site's visibility in search results.
By rectifying these technical hiccups, webmasters and SEO professionals can help search engines crawl and index their content more effectively, ultimately improving a website's overall search engine optimization and increasing its chances of reaching a wider online audience.
7. Consider Other Marketing Channels
It's essential to harness various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing to complement your SEO efforts. By seamlessly aligning these strategies, you can create a more holistic and effective online presence.
This synergy not only broadens your reach but also reinforces your brand's authority and trustworthiness.
8. Start Using Other Tools
Plumpopup is your secret weapon for optimizing your Shopify store, allowing you to extract the maximum value from your existing website traffic.
The best part? Setting up a popup and crafting a Shopify popup without the need for a plugin takes just five minutes.
With Plumpopup at your disposal, you can seamlessly design and implement modern pop-up features to:
Elevate your conversion rates and drive more sales.
Entice customers with enticing coupon codes and discounts, boosting their loyalty and engagement with your brand.
Tackle the issue of cart abandonment head-on, reducing the number of abandoned carts.
Utilize this SEO checklist as your go-to resource for optimizing your store. While the dynamics of search engine usage are constantly evolving, one fundamental aspect that remains unwavering is the purpose of using search engines: to unearth desired information or retrieve previously viewed content.
The singular, enduring SEO strategy is to cater to the precise needs of searchers. Search engines, with Google leading the way, consistently favor websites that prioritize user satisfaction. The key components outlined in the SEO checklists mentioned earlier, which encompass elements like swift page loading, engaging and informative content, as well as clear descriptions for pages and images, all contribute to simplifying and enhancing the searcher's experience.